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The Canadiens and “those five goals that hurt”.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

There’s one word that’s important when it comes to rebuilding: consistency. After all, a club can be good on any given night, but you have to be good on two given nights and three given nights.

I don’t think that’s the right way to put it, but we understand each other.

All this to say that on Tuesday, after the Habs’ big win over the Ducks, we were thinking that Martin St-Louis’ men would have to build on this to try and keep playing well.

And did they? It did… for 20 minutes.

Soon, the chain came off for the Habs, who found a new way to lose a hockey game. Allowing seven goals(in a 7-4 loss) isn’t exactly ideal.

The first went well, but allowing four goals in 4:10 didn’t exactly give the Habs confidence.

Asked about it after the game, Martin St-Louis admitted that giving up those four goals in a short sequence hurt the Habs in that game.

But were they the only goals that hurt? No.

After all, according to the head coach, the Rangers’ fifth goal (scored early in the third period to make it 5-2) also hurt his men.

In other words, the Rangers’ first five goals hurt. I imagine the opponent’s sixth and seventh goals hurt too, but I don’t want to put words in the pilot’s mouth.

As Renaud Lavoie pointed out this morning on BPM Sports, it would have been interesting to see what a veteran like Sean Monahan could have done.

After all, as a veteran, he could have asked the referee to switch sticks, just to give his guys a few more seconds to breathe and cut the Rangers’ momentum.

But of course, it would have been simpler if Martin St-Louis had simply called a time-out after the third or fourth goal… but he didn’t.

But hey. That’s not all I’ll take away from this game, in which the Habs gave away seven goals for the second time in three duels. The consistency I mentioned at the outset is there

So what do I take away from the game?

1. Yesterday, Samuel Montembeault looked bad. He gave the Rangers seven goals… and we imagine some of them weren’t goals he’s proud to see again on Sports 30 this morning. The loss wasn’t all his fault, but he didn’t make the difference for the better.

He looked like Jake Allen from the second – and that’s not a compliment.

It’s the second time in a few weeks that he’s had such an outing against one of the NHL’s good teams. Before the break, he gave the Bruins eight goals.

Let’s hope for the Habs’ sake that this is his last bad outing of the season.

2. In 2009, if the Habs hadn’t drafted Louis Leblanc, it’s safe to assume that they would have gone for Chris Kreider. And if that’s the case, not only would the Habs not have seen Carey Price injured in 2014, but the club would have had a hell of a hockey player on hand.

Yesterday, his three goals reminded us just how important he is in New York.

3. If Juraj Slafkovsky was dominant on Tuesday alongside Nick Suzuki, it was with Cole Caufield that the Slovakian stood out yesterday. Both men were excellent against the Rangers.

Cole Caufield scored two goals, including one from a Slaf pass. And the Slovak scored a goal on an assist from the American.

Slaf picked up a point (at least one, actually) in his seventh straight game. In Canadiens history, that’s an under-20 record. It’s a nice touch.

With six points yesterday, the first trio (three points for Caufield, two points for Slaf and an assist for Nick Suzuki) looked good. A club that scores four times isn’t supposed to get washed out, let’s say.

But since the Habs don’t have a lot of reinforcements outside the first trio (apart from… Jake Evans, obviously), it looks like this.

It might be time to advise Josh Anderson to work with Dr. Shot. He could use a little help putting it in once in a while.

4. We’re all starting to notice it more and more: Mike Matheson likes to pass to Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield with an extra man… but not to Juraj Slafkovsky or Alex Newhook / Sean Monahan.

The recipe works these days, but Slaf deserves to have the puck.

5. At one point in the game, Kaiden Guhle was tackled and headed for the locker room. Fortunately, he quickly returned to the game and finished with over 20 minutes of playing time.

But Sunday’s game and yesterday’s remind us that, despite everything, we’re still holding our breath when he gets tackled.


In the end, the Canadiens lost another hockey game. It was to be expected this season, but it was even more to be expected now that Sean Monahan is in Winnipeg.

I went to see my friend Tankathon and he said he was happy with the loss. #ForCelebrini

(Credit: Tankathon)

The Habs returned to Montreal late last night and no practice is on the menu. It’s a full day off for Martin St-Louis’ men on this snowy Friday.

Tomorrow night, the Canadiens will host the Washington Capitals.

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